Archive for the Wine & Food Category

New to Wine (Part 2)

Posted in Wine & Food on November 21, 2020 by darmyers
Lots to choose from

There was such an overwhelming response to my wine blog last week, New to Wine, Maybe I can Help, that I decided to expand on that. One of the things I always try to do with my wine blog and with my wine tastings, is take the intimidation out of buying and trying wine. Most people who read this blog already like wine on some level, but if you know someone wanting to dip their toe into the wine world, pass along this blog. If you are just getting started, here are a few wines to start your wine journey. And for those readers who love wine already, if you haven’t already tried these 5 wines, you should give them a try.

Bolla Prosecco – $17.99
  1. Prosecco

Prosecco has done such an amazing job of winning the Sparkling wine world over. It’s a beautiful crisp dry sparkling wine (not sweet) that is not expensive. It is delicious all on it’s own, perfect with appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, or you can turn it into a holiday cocktail.

Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktail

Check out this Cranberry Pomegranate holiday cocktail, you can get the recipe here.

The remaining 4 wines that critics and wine lovers feel you should try, are 2. Chardonnay

3. Pinot Grigio

4. Pinot Noir and

5. Cabernet Sauvignon.

Personally I recommend you try something lighter than a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz, if you are just starting out in the wine world. Here’s the wine I always get people to try when they want to try red wine, or are white wine drinkers but would like to try red, or even new to wine. I present ‘Beaujolais’.

Beaujolais

It’s not only fun to say, it’s fun to drink. On the 3rd Thursday in November, considered World Beaujolais Day, the year’s wine crop is released to the world. Beaujolais is consumed as new and fresh as possible to keep those candied fruit flavors. There are 5 regions of Burgundy (Bourgogne) and Beaujolais is the southern most tip. It also produces more wine than all the other 4 regions combined. Wine expert Karen McNeil says Beaujolais is ‘the only white wine that is red in color’. You also serve this wine very chilled, and it goes great with salads, picnics and appetizers. The Bel Air Beaujolais I have here is one I haven’t tried yet, but bought it yesterday and I’m looking forward to it. Beaujolais is not expensive and tends to be under $20 a bottle.

And now for my wine of the week…

But first, I have to tell you about my new BBQ.. yes the knobs light up for BBQing in the evenings when its dark (Yay!)

I love the fact the knobs light up
It has a rotisserie
Had both the BBQ & the Traeger Grill going

And yes, that is a glass of red wine between the two. You can’t be barbecuing and grilling without a beverage to keep you company.

And what was in that glass?

It’s on sale right now

Whenever I see this wine on sale, I absolutely have to have one. And its on sale this week! Meomi Pinot Noir is one of the richest Pinot Noir wines I have ever tried, and it’s complex flavors of mocha and cherries from winemaker Jason Becker gives it this week’s wine of the week. If you don’t think Pinot Noir can stand up to big grilled meats, you have not tried Meomi. The grapes come from 3 regions, Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara, and you’ll be bringing all the classic and dramatical flavors from the California coast, without the price tag that usually accompanies that.

This is why I’m single

Well, that’s it for me for this week. Have a great week, and thanks for reading.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Happy Hallowine!

Posted in Wine & Food on October 31, 2020 by darmyers
A great day to drink some wine

I would like to thank everyone who reached out last week, disappointed because I couldn’t do a wine blog because of Internet issues. I am really appreciative to everyone who takes time to read my blogs each week about wine and food. It warms a girl’s heart. You know what else warms a girl’s heart… Wine! Let’s talk some food & wine.

My friends Fred & Arla left Thursday to head to Alberta to take care of their grandson for 3 months. And the best news I received this week, is that they are letting me babysit their Traeger Grill!

Traeger Grill

I can’t tell you how much I am loving cooking on this grill. The other night I had my BBQ going to do the potatoes, I had chicken wings and a steak on the Traeger.

Before
After

I had a glass of wine on the go, I had some tunes going, and I was grilling and smoking my steak and wings on the Traeger. As they say on the website, Welcome to the Traeger-hood! I love adding smoke flavor to my wings, chicken, steak and I did the ultimate last night,,,, ribs

OMG! Smoked ribs

They were so good. And while some guys might love a beer while they are grilling, I love a glass of red while cooking outdoors. Here’s what I enjoyed last night while grilling and eating!

Burnt Ship Bay Cabernet Merlot

From the Niagara region in Ontario, a big thank you to my friends Fred & Arla for bringing me this wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot blend. Burnt Ship Bay Winery is named after a small bay that lies in the heart of the Niagara River, where these grapes are grown. The bay is known for being the final resting place for treasure-laden French ships. This blend, which also contains some Cabernet Franc, is about $13.50 right now. Sadly, you can’t buy this wine where I live, so my friends had it shipped in, because the winery is offering free shipping on a case of wine right now. It says right on their website to pair this wine with grilled meats, so I did! A match made in heaven.

Burnt Ship Pinot Grigio

I’ve also had the opportunity to try the Pinot Grigio. Arla loves the Pinot Grigio, so a few weeks back I got to try this gorgeous white as well. It was a great Pint Grigio with tasty citrus and tropical notes. This wine is priced under $14 as well, and is really a steal of a deal.

Want to know the really funny part?

Fall is so pretty in Halifax

I live in an apartment building in Halifax, in an area that has a lot of apartment buildings. And every once in a while, the Traeger will release this plume of smoke. It smells awesome, but I was worried one of my neighbours was going to call the fire department last night! LOL I had the ribs on the smoker for almost 3 hours, and they came out amazing. I was so anxious to eat them, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. But no worries, it won’t be my last time doing ribs on this grill. Best I’ve ever made.

Time for my wine of the week…

Portillo Pinot Noir

There used to be a saying ‘Never trust a Pinot Noir under $20’! That rule no longer applies. Pinot Noir was traditionally a more expensive red, because its known as the ‘heartbreak grape’. The skin of a Pinot Noir grape is so thin, its easy for an entire crop to be wiped out. This wine is just $14.49 a bottle and it’s a very light, fruity and easy to drink Pinot Noir. It hails from Argentina, and a warm climate Pinot Noir can taste a little jammy, because the consistently warm weather allows a red grape to fully ripen. Some people would miss the acidity that comes with a cool climate Pinot. Try a Pinot Noir from Canada and you’ll know what I mean. It’s a great wine at a great price and definitely worth the try.

Stay safe tonight

So tonight its Halloween, the clocks go back an hour, and it’s a full moon. 2020 continues to be interesting! Stay safe everyone. I’m going to stay in and enjoy some wine.

Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

Thankful

Posted in Wine & Food on October 10, 2020 by darmyers

Who would have thought, last Thanksgiving, (here in Canada) that a year later Thanksgiving might looks quite different. I know with 2020 being an absolute wonky year with a Global pandemic, some people may find it hard this Thanksgiving. I hope you can find something to be grateful for, and I hope you are safe and healthy. I am thankful for so many wonderful things in my life.

Riley

I have my family, who are all healthy, and my nephew Riley, who is going to St. FX this year. He is up for a turkey dinner and a visit with his Aunt Dar. We’re having it earlier than most people, but that’s OK! So grateful he is living in Nova Scotia.

Road trip to Liverpool

I have amazing friends, I am so very grateful for.

My stuffed Turkey

I am grateful to have food on my table, coffee in my cup and wine in my glass.

Let’s talk about some wine, and even pair it with your Thanksgiving dinner. You can’t talk turkey without talking about the white wine.

Wine of the Week last week

The Wine of the Week last week would be a great wine for turkey. Flavorful, but not over-powering, it would be a great compliment for the gobble gobble. And at $14.49 a bottle, you can afford to feed it to your family.

Pinot Grigio is another great turkey wine

Pinot Grigio is another great turkey wine. With its crisp acidity, in my opinion, it’s the perfect pairing for a turkey. But here’s the thing about wine, if you like the wine with turkey, it’s a great wine to go with turkey. Wine is a very personal choice, and I’m only here to give a couple of suggestions, if needed.

If you’re a die hard red wine person, here’s the wine I had last night with my turkey dinner with Riley.

Pepperwood Grove Zinfandel

I shouldn’t tease you with this wine because I’m pretty sure the NSLC is sold out of it. But where ever you live in Canada or the U.S., if you see this wine, it’s really really good. We found out through the website Yarmouth, Nova Scotia had 6 bottles, and my good friend Angie has a daughter that lives in Yarmouth.

My friend Angie and I

So low and behold, we bought them out, and was able to enjoy the delicious Pepperwood Grove Old Vine Zinfandel. Any Zinfandel would go great, or if you love Italian wine, try a Primitivo. They are not expensive and it’s the same grape as Zinfandel. You would never know if you tried an American Zinfandel and an Italian Primitivo side by side. Even though they are the same grape, the Americans and the Italians have different ways of working with the grape, but both are delicious.

And now for my Wine of the Week

Montes Cabernet Sauvignon

The Colchagua region of Chile are putting out spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Chilean winemakers have had help from skilled winemakers all over the world, including the Napa Valley and France. The great thing about a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon is that you are not paying the same price tag. This Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon is under $19 a bottle and goes perfect with all your favorite Fall comfort foods. Don’t you find as the weather gets cooler, you are drinking more Cabernet Sauvignon?

In 1987, Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray, both highly experienced wine professionals in Chile, wanted to produce Chilean wines a quantum-leap higher in quality than the standards of the time. In 1988, they joined up with the other two founders, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, who brought their own complementary skills and expertise to the venture. Thus Montes was born. And now you too can enjoy a fantastic Cabernet at a wonderful price. Enjoy!

To all my readers, I am especially grateful for you as you come with me on this wine journey I am so very much enjoying. Have a wonderful long weekend, and stay safe!

Darlene

A Taste of French Food &Wine

Posted in Wine & Food on October 3, 2020 by darmyers
6 of the 7 Muskateers

This past weekend, my friend Angie (she took the above picture) hosted a French dinner party. Everything from the food, to our outfits, to the wine, were all French themed. She even provided us all with little French moustaches. And when we peeled them off, it took off any trace of a moustache we did have, LOL! Women going through menopause will get that joke!

We had some great food, a few great laughs, and some great French wine. We started the evening with a ‘welcome’ wine of a French rose, called Arrogant Frog. My friend Angie is seen holding the bottle of wine.

Angie holding the Arrogant Frog

There is an Arrogant Frog Sparkling rose, but that’s not the one we had, we enjoyed the dry Rose. It was crisp, light and delicious. The winemaker, Jean-Claude Mas is a 4th generation winemaker, who started assisting his father and grandfather in the vineyard when he was 3 years old. Our local NSLC also carries a Chardonnay Viognier white blend and a Cabernet Merlot red blend. I’ll have to try them. Made with the Syrah grape, this was a wonderful wine that we enjoyed with a delicious appetizer of spinach and artichoke dip on a baguette, made by Arla.

Not my picture, but you get the picture of how tasty it was

Our first course was a salad, which I made, and it had a base of spinach and arugula. I then added beets, mandarin oranges, bacon (of course), almonds, and grated parmesan cheese. I made my salad dressing with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, pepper, soy sauce and some brown sugar. With that course we enjoyed this French sparkling beauty.

Cremant De Bourgogne Brut

The Cremant De Bourgogne hails from the Maconnais region of Burgundy, Franch and Cremant is made in the exact say way as Champagne, what is commonly known as the traditional method. You know that you cannot call a Sparkling wine Champagne, unless it comes from the Champagne region of France and follows a whole list of strict guidelines. This was wonderful, made from Chardonnay grapes, and a steal of a deal at just $25. It was dry, and elegant with a lovely mousse (the foam and bubbles after a sparkling wine has been poured is called the mousse.) This is another great example of a sparkling wine that is made identical to Champagne, but is so much more affordable.

cafedelites.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Beef...
Not the actual picture of the Beef Bourguinon Elaine made

Would you believe I did not get a picture of the main course. I’m so sad, because our friend Elaine made an amazing Beef Bourguignon. It was so delicious, and we paired it with mashed potatoes and French green beans. We served a variety of wines, both white and red, with the main course. We drank Pinot Noir, a GSM (Grenache, Syrah & Merlot) as well as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio.

Dave & Fred, the brave two men who hang with us 5 women.

Dave, pictured above, made a wonderful french fluffy dessert with a custard and a homemade caramel sauce. It was a divine evening of food, wine and fun, but I can’t wait to tell you about the my Wine of the Week!

La Vielle Ferme

After last weekend, every single one of us will have this wine as a staple in our wine racks. Meet my new favorite white wine. This wine was recently written up in the Wall Street Journal for being a spectacular wine at a great price. This wine is just $14.49 a bottle here in Nova Scotia, and is a 4 grape blend. Bourboulenc, Grenache blanc, Ugni blanc & Vermentino, which are harvested at optimum maturity, which is the key to a flavorful full-bodied white wine. Gorgeous fruity flavors of apples and citrus with some tropical notes, this wine blew me away. I just loved it.

Words of a Wino – Love this

Well that’s it for me today. Thank you for coming along on my food & wine journey. I love it when people share their wine and food stories with me as well.

Till next weekend, Cheers

Darlene

Bordeaux Wine Tour, Anyone?

Posted in Wine & Food on September 19, 2020 by darmyers
Official Announcement

I have exciting news. In April, 2022, I will be joining forces with Atlantic Tours and AMA Waterways to participate in a river cruise called ‘A Taste of Bordeaux’. I met the owner of Atlantic Tours, Richard Arnold, during several wine tastings I did in 2019. We hit it off and talked about the possibility of working together on a wine related trip. Well we currently have 2 we are working on. 2021 to the Niagara region of Canada, and 2022 to Bordeaux France.

Richard & Sandra
Richard has a tremendous amount of experience doing first class tours.

For any wine lover, Bordeaux France is the capital of great wine. Filled with Chateaus and vineyards, this is going to be an epic adventure in the land of food and wine. (2 of my favorite things in the world.) Travelling the Garonne & Dordogne rivers in first class style, this is a dream trip for any wine lover. I’ll have more details later, but right now we are planned for April of 2022. And in case you didn’t know, Bordeaux is just not for the red wine lover, Bordeaux produces some amazing white wines as well. Bordeaux white is mostly blended wines and tends to consist of 3 grapes, Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. Bordeaux white can be light and fruity (Sauvignon Blanc heavy) or rich and creamy (Semillion heavy). It is also home to some of the most expensive wines in the world.

2005 Chateau D’yquem

Like this 2005 Chateau D’yquem priced at $1112.00

Chateau Margeaux

Or this Chateaux Margeaux priced at a cool $1448.00. But you can enjoy good wine from Bordeaux without having to take out a second mortgage. So….Let’s talk some food & wine.

Puyfromage White

Take this Chateau Puyfromage White Bordeaux for example. It is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion and it is tropical, light and fruity, and every wine tasting I’ve ever bought it to, it’s a hit. It’s only $22 a bottle, it’s medium-bodied, with some acidity from the Sauvignon Blanc and very food friendly. Chateau Puyfromage also comes in a red blend, with 60% of the wine being Merlot and the other 40% being comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. So a really good meaty red at about the same price point.

Rayell holding a Sauternes
Chateau Coutet Sauternes

One of my favorite white wines to come out of Bordeaux is Sauternes. I know many people say they don’t like sweet wines, but if you have a dessert wine, in a small sherry glass, and have it as a dessert, it can be heavenly. Sauternes comes from the Barsac region of Bordeaux and the grapes are Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion and Muscadelle. Sauternes takes these 3 grapes and applies a process called Botrytis Cinerea, or more commonly known as noble rot.  This causes the grapes to become partially raisined, resulting in concentrated and distinctively flavored wines. These wines are delicious dessert wines, served chilled, and those flavors of honey and apricot make for one of my favorite desserts.

New pork chop marinade
Bobby Flay’s homemade honey mustard sauce

I would really like to tell you about my new food discovery. I made Bobby Flay’s homemade honey mustard sauce and used it on grilled pork chops. Here’s one change I have made to the recipe. (Sorry Bobby) It calls for equal parts grainy mustard and Dijon mustard. I started cutting the grainy mustard in half. If I used 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, I used 1/2 a tablespoon of the grainy. I feel the grainy mustard can overpower the sauce. Here’s the grainy mustard I used.

Maille Mustard

Even on the website, it says it packs a powerful punch. And it does. So I’m using half. Then I added honey, salt & pepper. Delicious on pork.

Now, for my wine of the week… Believe me, this one is very affordable

I hope all my readers have someone in their life that looks at them like I look at this wine. LOL. I love a Ripasso, regular readers of my blog will know that. It’s Valpolicella wine poured over the skins and must of Amarone, while they are still warm. It takes on those beautiful Amarone flavors without taking on the heaviness of an Amarone. This is probably my favorite Italian wine. And last night was my first time trying this one by Folinari. It is a medium-bodied wine full of flavor, beautiful hints of balsamic, cherry and mocha spice. I did ribs on the grill, and it was amazing.

Have a wonderful week everyone. Till next week, Cheers

Darlene